Engineering, Dual Degree Program


Darren E. Mason, director, dual-degree program in engineering; professor of mathematics.
B.S., 1991, Ph.D., 1996, University of Minnesota. Appointed 2001.

Nicolle E. B. Zellner, chair and associate professor of physics.
B.S., 1993, University of Wisconsin; M.S., 1998, Ph.D., 2001, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Appointed 2005.


The dual-degree program in engineering (DDPE) gives the student the best of two worlds—liberal arts and engineering. Today’s engineers must be well-grounded in basic science and mathematics, have a broad range of knowledge as well as the skills to acquire new information, and think critically and communicate effectively. Engineering is a dynamic profession that is constantly striving to stay on the frontier of technological development. To adapt to this need for change, engineers must be able to educate themselves and learn new techniques to stay abreast of their field. They must also demonstrate exemplary professionalism and the ability to work in interdisciplinary and collaborative environments, be alert to the implications of their work, and be concerned about the effects of science and technology upon the larger world. Mindful of these goals, the dual-degree program in engineering at Albion College prepares students well for success in this dynamic and challenging profession.

Under the dual-degree program, a student spends three or more years at Albion and receives a strong background in the basic sciences and mathematics that underlie all engineering while gaining this knowledge in the context of the liberal arts tradition. Upon admission and transfer to an approved engineering school (listed below), the student then completes his/her engineering education. This engineering course work typically takes an additional two to two and one-half years, depending upon the number of advanced courses the student has taken at Albion and on the engineering discipline. After successful completion of eight units at the engineering school that have been approved for transfer back to Albion by the Engineering Advisory Committee (EAC), the student is then eligible to receive a B.A. degree from Albion. The student also receives a B.S. degree in engineering from the transfer institution upon successful completion of the relevant program’s graduation requirements.

Students must be admitted to the dual-degree program in engineering. Go to the dual-degree program in engineering website for application information. Additional program information is available from the director.

Career Opportunities

The dual-degree program in engineering provides students foundational skills in science, mathematics and computer science, as well as substantial experience in applying these skills to solving contemporary problems. Application examples include the design and realization of water purification systems, automotive/aerospace/marine vehicles, computer circuits/hardware, supply chain networks, and power grids, to name only a few. As such, DDPE graduates have substantial professional opportunities in both the public and private sectors, ranging from design engineer to project manager to entrepreneur. Graduates are also well equipped to pursue graduate degrees in engineering, dentistry, medicine or law.

Degree Programs

After successfully completing three years of approved study at Albion College, DDPE students are required to gain admission to an engineering degree program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). As the admission requirements of these programs vary substantially, students are required to have their school of transfer approved by the EAC. Students who transfer to engineering schools that have not been approved by the EAC will not receive an Albion degree.

The two engineering programs currently affiliated with Albion College are:

  1. University of Michigan (MI) College of Engineering
  2. Columbia University (NY) Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Albion has a formal transfer agreement with Columbia University that guarantees admission to Albion College students who successfully complete all required courses in the first attempt with a grade of 3.0, maintain a 3.3 GPA in all required courses and in overall course work, and satisfy other academic requirements as specified by Columbia. The University of Michigan requires all students to earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 both overall and in science prior to transfer, with higher GPA requirements for more competitive engineering majors such as mechanical, chemical or electrical engineering. Although meeting these minimum GPA requirements is generally sufficient for admission to the University of Michigan, it is not a guarantee. Students are strongly recommended to earn GPAs above these minimum admission requirements.

Students unable to meet the GPA requirements of the above two schools, or who would prefer to transfer to an engineering school not listed above, may still participate in the DDPE through transfer to an alternate engineering institution. They will still need to meet all or parts of the dual-degree program requirements, as listed below. See the DDPE director for additional information about this option.

Requirements for Dual-Degree Program

To successfully complete the dual-degree program in engineering, with the intent to transfer to the two schools that are currently affiliated with Albion College (see above), students must fulfill the following requirements.

General Requirements

While at Albion College, each student must:

  • Complete at least 24 units of college credit prior to transfer to an approved school of engineering. 16 of these units must be earned at Albion College.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and a minimum grade point average in courses in chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics of 3.0.
  • Complete the writing competency requirement.
  • Achieve successful transfer admission to an approved engineering program of study.
  • Make a written application for a dual degree to the Albion College registrar. This application must be submitted by the end of the twelfth week of the student’s junior year and receive the endorsement of the Engineering Advisory Committee (EAC).

While at the transfer engineering school, each student must:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  • Complete at least eight units of college credit in an ABET accredited program at the transfer school. These courses must be approved by the EAC for Albion credit.

Engineering Core Course Requirements

All students in the dual-degree program in engineering must complete the following core course requirements at Albion:

  • LA 101: First-Year Seminar (1 unit)
  • Three of the following seven Albion College core requirements (3 units):
    • Artistic, Historical, and Textual Modes of Inquiry
    • Environmental, Ethnicity, Gender, and Global Categories
  • Students must complete the College divisional requirements
  • Computer Science 171 (1 unit)
  • Economics and Management 101 (1 unit)
  • English 101 (1 unit)
  • Mathematics 141, 143, 245, 247 (4 units)
  • Physics 167, 168, 243, 244 (3 units)
  • Chemistry 121, 123 (2 units)

Notes: The modeling and scientific modes of inquiry are completed by the required courses in science and mathematics.

Departmental policies on awarding AP credit are listed under the respective department in the Programs of Study section of this catalog. However, transfer institutions' policies on accepting AP credit vary. Students should consult with the DDPE director regarding AP credit while planning Albion course work.

Engineering Emphases Requirements

All students in the dual-degree program in engineering must select and complete one of the six areas of engineering emphasis listed below. General engineering is appropriate for students interested in aerospace, civil, marine, materials, mechanical or nuclear engineering.

  • General Engineering: Physics 191, 245, 250; Mathematics/Physics 375 (3.25 units)
  • Biomedical Engineering: Chemistry 211; Mathematics 309, Mathematics/Physics 375; Physics 191, 250 (4.25 units)
  • Chemical Engineering: Chemistry 211, 212; Physics 191, 250 (3.25 units)
  • Computer/Electrical Engineering: Computer Science 173; Mathematics 239; Physics 245, 250; Mathematics/Computer Science 299 or Physics 191 (4.25 units)
  • Environmental/Geological Engineering: Mathematics/Physics 375; Biology 210 or Chemistry 211 or Physics 250; one course from Geology 101, 104, 115; Physics 191 (3.25 units)
  • Industrial Engineering/Operations Research (IEOR): Computer Science 173; Economics and Management 211; Mathematics/Computer Science 299; Mathematics 309; one from Mathematics 310, 311, 326, 349, or 360 (4.25 units)

Note: DDPE students selecting IEOR must declare "DDPE: Mathematics-IEOR" as their major. All other DDPE students should declare "DDPE-Physics" as their major.